- ABOUT US
- Rights of Springs
Inspired by the processes and laws of the natural world that sustain all lifeforms, the writings of Thomas Berry and other environmental philosophers, lawyers and scientists, and the tradition of Catholic Social Thought to reverence and care for all of creation, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (CEJ) was created in Fall 2006 with initial funding from a Marie V. Gendron grant at the Schools of Law at Barry and St. Thomas Universities.
CEJ formally began its educational component with an Earth Jurisprudence Seminar offered at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando in Spring 2007. The following year the seminar was offered at St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens, as well. More than eighty students have enrolled in courses or seminars for credit offered by CEJ since 2007. By employing a variety of teaching methods and resources, the courses encourage students to think creatively about the responsibilities of humans toward all the members of the natural world and the need to expand legal protections for the members of the Earth community in this unprecedented era of global ecological challenges.
Since its creation, CEJ has focused on providing educational workshops and forums to shift human consciousness to understand humanity’s basic interdependence with the wider natural world; to provide a legal critique of current assumptions, values, and structures of law that are blind to this reality; and to develop alternatives building on current legal tools. CEJ has collaborated with a variety of partner organizations to host conferences addressing aspects of re-visioning law and public policy through a more Earth-centric perspective.
An introductory Earth jurisprudence colloquium took place in April of 2007 at St. Thomas University, followed by an international workshop about the rights and responsibilities needed for adequate water law that fall. A major symposium titled “Framing an Earth Jurisprudence for a Planet in Peril” was held at Barry University School of Law in February 2008. The Barry Law Review published the findings of that symposium in its Winter 2008 issue.
CEJ has participated in conferences on the connections between Earth jurisprudence, global climate change, and global hunger and poverty, both nationally and internationally, especially with the Earth Jurisprudence Resource Center in London and with the Wild Law section of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA).
In February 2009, CEJ hosted the “Precautionary Principle Academy: Walking the Green Line” in both Miami and Orlando. CEJ began its annual “Future Generations” conference at the Barry Law School in Spring 2010, and continued with “Water Justice for All” in February 2011, featuring noted water activist, Maude Barlow.
In July 2010 CEJ organized a major conference, “Ecological Integrity: Reconnecting Humans, Health and Habitat,” with internationally renowned environmentalist, author and activist Dr. Vandana Shiva and her sister, health activist Dr. Mira Shiva.
CEJ has also demonstrated a commitment to increasing scholarship and research in the area of Earth jurisprudence. Professor Judy Koons of Barry University School of Law has published several law review articles on Earth Jurisprudence, as has Professor Patrick Tolan, also of the Barry Law School. Please see the Publications page for a listing of current articles published and supported by CEJ.
CEJ relocated to the Barry University School of Law in August 2010. An Earth jurisprudence legacy remains at St. Thomas University School of Law through the creation of a new LL.M in Environmental Sustainability that began in August 2011. For more information on that unique environmental program, please visit www.stu.edu/law/environmentLLM.
Sr. Pat Siemen on Rights of Nature at TEDxJacksonville 2013View video full screen on YouTube.
Florida’s Water and Land LegacyCongratulations to all who worked so diligently and passionately to collect the signatures required to place dedicated funding for conservation land acquisition on the ballot in 2014. More than 960,000 voters signed in support of this measure! Learn more about this initiative at Florida's Water and Land Legacy.org.
CEJ Events & PresentationsMore coming soon!
Other EventsWater Blues/Green Solutions
St. Johns Riverkeeper & partners
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Locally premiering a new documentary film about communities working with nature to solve their water problems, followed by a panel discussion.
Learn more at StJohnsRiverkeeper.org.
Marion County Springs Festival
Florida Springs Institute & partners
Saturday, April 26, 2014
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs, FL
Exhibits, vendors, music, food, kids programs and more, surrounded by Florida’s first attraction, the historic and magical Silver Springs.
Contact: (352) 236-7148
More info at FloridaSpringsInstitute.org.
Growing Native Annual Conference
Florida Native Plant Society
May 15-18, 2014
Florida Gulf Coast University
Ft. Myers, FL
Field trips, speakers, education, socials, and a plant sale, all featuring the intriguing world of native plants.
Find out more at FNPS.org.
River City EcoFest
River City Eco Foundation
Saturday, May 17, 2014
10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Outdoor Music/Eco Festival & River Race with workshops, clinics, outdoor recreation expo, a film festival, food, trucks and music.
Contact: (904) 502-7733
Get more info at RiverCityChallenge.org.
Finding the Fountains of Youth: Exploring the Myth of Florida’s Magical Waters
Ongoing through April 27, 2014
Rincon Gallery, South Florida Museum
Graphic designer Rick Kilby examines how Florida’s reputation for healing, restorative waters entered popular culture and created its tourist economy.
Contact: (941) 746-4131
Details at SouthFloridaMuseum.org.
Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth
Ongoing through May 30, 2014
Gallery for Innovation and the Arts
R.A. Gray Building
Photographer John Moran’s images from the past and present create a then-and-now narrative of Florida's springs.
Contact: (850) 245-6470
Discover more at SpringsEternalProject.org.
Learning to See Naturally ~ Nature Journaling WorkshopsVisit our nature journaling blog, Learning to See Naturally, for poems, photos, stories and other nature-inspired creative works from our workshop participants.
- Peacekeeping Budgets Equal Less Than Two Days of Military Spending April 22, 2014New Worldwatch Institute analysis examines trends in peacekeeping budgets Washington, D.C.—The approved budget for United Nations peacekeeping operations from July 2013 to June 2014 runs to $7.83 billion—$390 million higher than in the previous year. This is the third-highest budget since the record $8.26 billion spent in 2009–10. Despite some relatively m […]Supriya Kumar
- Peacekeeping Budgets Equal Less Than Two Days of Military Spending April 22, 2014